Courses

Curt Varone is available to present at seminars, conferences, keynotes, meetings, breakout sessions, and in-service training programs whether in-person or virtually. Email curtvarone@gmail.com for details and availability.

 Open-Enrollment Classes:

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service

March 5-6, 2024 – LIVE-IN-PERSON

Vail, Colorado

Hosted by the Eagle River Fire Protection District

$375 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced FLSA: Calculating Regular Rate for Firefighters and other First Responders

Webinar – March 20, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Leadership Solutions to Firefighter Digital Imagery Problems

Webinar – March 27, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced Disciplinary Issues: Toxic Employees

Webinar – April 10, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced FLSA: Executive Exemption: Fire Officers and Overtime

Webinar – April 18, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service

May 8-9, 2024 – WEBINAR

$295 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Leadership Solutions to Firefighter Social Media Problems

Webinar – May 15, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service

May 22-23, 2024 – WEBINAR

$295 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced Garrity Issues: Firefighters and the Right to Remain Silent

WebinarMay 29, 2024   1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced Disciplinary Issues: Credibility Determinations

Webinar – June 12, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

FLSA Bootcamp for Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments

Webinar – July 10, 2024  1:00PM Eastern

$150 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service

July 17-18, 2024 – LIVE-IN-PERSON

Georgetown, Texas

Hosted by the Georgetown Fire Department

$375 per person – EARLY BIRD PRICING $325 – ends April 1, 2024

Information / Register On-Line

An important skill set that the modern fire service leader needs involves understanding the law and legal issues that impact our profession.

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service – This 2-day program is intended for chiefs and fire officers who may have to investigate misconduct by firefighters, as well as union representatives who may need to advise members during an internal investigation. HR professionals and attorneys who represent fire departments and firefighter unions will also benefit from the program. The course looks at the causes for disciplinary problems and explains proven methods for conducting a fair and impartial investigation. Attendees will learn how to organize and conduct an investigation, interview witnesses, preserve evidence, and find the truth while respecting the honorable service that firefighters provide. The course will also provide an introduction to the professional standards concept, and look at the strategic steps that fire service leaders need to consider when addressing disciplinary issues. Due process, Weingarten, and Garrity are covered along with the impact of civil service, collective bargaining and firefighter bill of rights laws. The program incorporates numerous case studies pulled from today’s headlines.(Open enrollment or contract)

Advanced Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service – This 2-day program is intended as a deeper study into the causes of, and solutions for, discipline – related problems in the fire service. Fire officers, HR professionals with responsibility for fire departments, and union representatives who routinely advise members during an internal investigation will gain key insights into advanced areas including advanced interviewing skills, evidence collection, credibility determinations, and dealing with difficult employees. Fire chiefs, HR Directors, attorneys and those responsible for overseeing investigations and implementing penalties will also benefit from the program.  The course builds upon the Managing Disciplinary Challenges program, taking a deeper look at the professional standards concept, and the strategic steps that fire service leaders need to consider when addressing disciplinary issues. Due process, Weingarten, and Garrity are thoroughly covered along with the impact of civil service, collective bargaining and firefighter bill of rights laws. (Open enrollment or contract)

Drafting & Implementing Effective Fire Department Policies & Procedures

Policies and procedures have become increasingly important to fire departments in our complex, litigious society. Beyond simply reducing liability, effective policies improve operations and enhance the safety and health of firefighters. They are the cornerstone of organizational learning, and have proven to be the best method for incorporating lessons learned into a fire department’s daily operations. Yet the lack of policies is repeatedly cited in NIOSH firefighter fatality reports as a contributing factor in firefighter fatalities. In addition the lack of policies figures prominently in many lawsuits holding fire department liable. This program provides attendees with everything they need to know about researching, drafting and implementing sound and effective fire department policies and procedures. (Open enrollment or contract)

Contract Only:

Contemporary Human Resource Issues for Fire Departments

This program reviews the most important human resource challenges confronting fire departments. Included is a review of human resource litigation, looking at litigation trends and the most likely ways that fire departments are being sued. Sexual harassment, discrimination, Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and disciplinary problems will all be reviewed. The program will also discuss the role that so-called toxic employees play in human resource problems, along with concrete solutions for dealing with difficult employees.

Leadership Case Studies: Respect in the Workplace

Being a leader has never been easy, but for a variety of reasons it has never been more difficult than it is today. Leaders in all walks of life are confronted with legal, ethical and moral challenges. Fire officers in particular face challenges that arise from the uniqueness of our culture. This program examines a series of case studies merging traditional concepts of leadership, coaching, ethics, liability and responsibility. How does an officer deal with a difficult subordinate, or potentially offensive behavior in the workplace? How does an officer document deficiencies in an employee’s performance without creating a hostile environment? Our officers are well trained in dealing with operational problems that pose liability problems, but are they prepared for the administrative challenges that go with their rank? This program will immerse officers in real-life case studies pulled from today’s headlines. Options for handling difficult leadership challenges will be discussed and debated. Implicit bias, sexual harassment and discrimination will be addressed. Half-day program available on a contract basis (no open enrollment).

Fire Service Report Writing – This program provides an overview of fire service report writing. It combines an understanding of the legal concern associated with report writing coupled with the practical considerations faced by fire officers who must prepare incident and administrative reports. Fire reports, EMS reports, refusals against medical advice, apparatus accident reports, personnel reviews, counseling/discipline forms, and witness statements are all addressed. The distinction between facts and conclusions will be emphasized throughout the program, as will common report mistakes that can result in unnecessary liability for the department and the report drafter.

Digital Imagery and Social Media Challenges in the Fire Service – Digital imagery and social media have been both a blessing and a curse for the fire service, but one thing is undeniable: despite the problems digital imagery and social media are here to stay. The law that applies to social media has been evolving and continues to evolve, with new cases and considerations arising daily. This program addresses the latest digital imagery and social media cases effecting the fire service, and the lessons learned for fire departments and firefighters. Recommendations for policies including specific language to address all legal requirements is provided. A one-day program is available that addresses both digital imagery and social media. A half-day versions are available that address either digital imagery or social media. Stay current on these evolving problems and learn what new concerns your policies need to address.

Firefighter Misconduct:  The Company Officer’s Role & Responsibility – This program combines discipline, leadership, and ethics training with a series of case studies into the leadership challenges commonly face by fire officers. This fast-paced class examines the role that firehouse culture plays in misconduct and offers concrete solutions to officers to avoid derailing their own careers and while protecting their subordinates. This half-day program that can be coupled with other half day programs (Leadership Case Studies, social media, or report writing) to make a full day of training.

Customized training on the following leadership and law related topics:

  • Going Viral: Digital imagery and social media challenges in the fire service
  • Facebook and the First Amendment
  • Firefighter Misconduct: the company officer’s role and responsibility
  • Fire Officer’s Legal Primer
  • Leadership case studies
  • YCMTSU
  • Emails, Electronic Communications and Workplace Privacy
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Hazing, pranks and bullying
  • Firefighter occupational safety and health
  • Report writing and documentation
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Collective bargaining
  • Legal update – Arson
  • Legal update – Fourth Amendment
  • Legal update – Fire Scene Spoliation
  • Firefighters and the right to remain silent
  • Liability trends and traps
  • Leadership & liability
  • Public Records Law in the Digital Age

Drafting and Implementing an Effective Social Media Policy

Social media has been both a blessing and a curse for the fire service, but one thing is undeniable: social media with all its problems is here to stay. The law that applies to social media has been evolving and continues to evolve, with new cases arising daily.  Emerging are some important principles that fire service leaders and firefighters can use to avoid the pitfalls that can lead to firefighters being terminated or social media policies being struck down.

This program will focus on the latest social media cases affecting the fire service, and the important lessons learned for fire departments and firefighters. These lessons will then be connected to recommended policy language for your social media policy.

Stay current on this evolving problem and learn what new concerns your policies need to address. Social media challenges can be managed through sound, defensible social media polices.

Attendees will receive course materials that include a model social media policy that attendees can customize and use in their department.

  1. Case Studies – Intro
  2. First Amendment Protection
  3. Concerted Activities Protection
  4. Case Studies – Review
  5. Model Policy Language
  6. Training Issues

The class will work through the development of the policy and training needs to supplement the policy. The program is scheduled for 3 hours.

If you are interested in hosting a class in your area, please contact me at jcatlaw@aol.com.

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